IASToppers'-CAA-25th-August-2016
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Current Affairs Analysis

25th August 2016 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill; Sugamya Pustakalaya; NHIIP programme; DNA Index System; Udaipur Declaration; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
August 25, 2016

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • Cabinet approves introduction of the “Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016”
  • Sugamya Pustakalaya- an online library for persons with visual disabilities launched
  • In a first, compensation to victims of cross-border firing
  • Dignity and Self-Respect: a new mantra for Swachh Bharat Mission

Economy

  • Cabinet approves National Highways Interconnectivity Improvement Project
  • Maharashtra becomes first state to sign MoU for regional air links
  • 9 new breeds of indigenous livestock registered

Bilateral & International Relations

  • Cabinet approves MoU with South Africa to establish cooperation in Grassroots Innovation
  • Cabinet approves signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Fiji
  • Cabinet approves MoU with Myanmar for cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine

Science & Technology

  • Andhra Pradesh becomes first state to launch DNA profiling of criminals

Key Facts for Prelims

  • Udaipur Declaration

 

Polity & Governance

Cabinet approves introduction of the “Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016”

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of the “Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016”.

  • The legislation will ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples.

Salient features of the bill:

  • The legislation will ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples.
  • The Bill will regulate surrogacy in India by establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level and State Surrogacy Boards and Appropriate Authorities in the State and Union Territories.
  • The Bill allows ethical surrogacy for all infertile Indian married couple in the country.
  • The rights of surrogate mother and children born out of surrogacy will be protected.
  • The Bill shall apply to whole of India, except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The couple who are wishing to go for surrogacy must be Indian citizens. No foreign national, not even overseas citizens of India will be allowed the services.
  • Bill seeks to ensure that the child will be entitled to rights equivalent to that of a biological child. Clinics will also have to track records of the surrogate child for 25 years.

IASToppers_Surrogacy-(Regulation)-Bill,-2016

The major benefits of the Act:

  • It will regulate the surrogacy services in the country
  • Commercial surrogacy will be prohibited including sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes.
  • Ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples will be allowed on fulfilment of certain conditions and for specific purposes.
  • It will control the unethical practices in surrogacy, prevent commercialization of surrogacy.
  • It will prohibit potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy.

Why this kind of legislation is required?

  • India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from different countries and there have been reported incidents concerning unethical practices, exploitation of surrogate mothers, abandonment of children born out of surrogacy and rackets of intermediaries importing human embryos and gametes.
  • Widespread condemnation of commercial surrogacy prevalent in India has also been regularly published in different print-and electronic media since last few years highlighting the need to prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow ethical altruistic surrogacy.
  • The 228th report of the Law Commission of India has also recommended for prohibiting commercial surrogacy and allowing ethical altruistic surrogacy to the needy Indian citizens by enacting a suitable legislation.

Present scenario:

  • At Present, there is no legislation for regulation of surrogacy in India it is regulated under the national guidelines for accreditation, supervision and regulation of ART clinics of India 2005.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Sugamya Pustakalaya- an online library for persons with visual disabilities launched

The Union Government has launched Accessible E-Library ‘Sugamya Pustakalaya’ for Divyang under Prime Minister’s Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan.

IASToppers-Sugamaya-Pustakalaya

Key facts:

  • “Sugamaya Pustakalaya” is an online platform that makes accessible content available to print-disabled people.
  • The library houses publications across diverse subjects and languages and multiple accessible formats.
  • It has been created by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in collaboration with member organizations of Daisy Forum of India and powered by TCS Access.
  • Books are available in Accessible formats for people with visual impairment and other print disabilities.
  • It will house over 2 lakhs books in diverse languages. It will also integrate libraries across India and the Globe, including the largest international library Bookshare.
[Ref: PIB]

 

In a first, compensation to victims of cross-border firing

For the first time, the victims of cross border firing along the Indo-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir will get compensation of Rs 5 lakh, similar to those who die due to terrorism or Left Wing Extremism violence.

IASToppers victims of cross border firing

  • At present, there is no scheme to compensate victims of cross border firing.

Details:

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval to enhance the grant of compensation to the civilian victims under the scheme titled “Central Scheme for Assistance to Civilian Victims of Terrorist/ Communal/Left Wing Extremist (LWE), Cross Border Firing and Mine/IED blasts on Indian Territory” from Rs.3 lakhs to Rs.5 lakhs.

The highlights of the scheme are as follows:

  • For the first time, civilian victims of cross border firing along the Indo-Pak border will be given a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh similar to those who die due to terrorism or LWE violence.
  • Now onwards, any civilian who dies anywhere in the country due to terror attack, LWE violence, firing from across the border, shelling or IED explosion will be given Rs.5 lakh as compensation uniformly. The amount will be given to the next of kin of the victim.
  • 5 lakh will also be given to those who receive 50 per cent or more disability or incapacitation due to the same reasons.
  • The compensation amount will be given subject to the condition that no employment has been provided to any of the family members of the victims by State or Central Government.
  • Families of the victims would be eligible to get assistance under the scheme even if they have received any other assistance, by way of payment of ex-gratia or any other type of relief from the Government or any other source except when a similar scheme is already being implemented by the Central Government.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Dignity and Self-Respect: a new mantra for Swachh Bharat Mission

According to a report by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), recently submitted to the Ministry of Urban Development, recreating an identity of Swachh Bharat Mission around the theme of ‘dignity and self-respect’ has been strongly recommended for the success of the mission through scaling up citizen’s participation in this scheme to make it into a full-fledged `jan andolan’.

IASToppers Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)

Key recommendations:

  • The TISS report proposes a long-term association between the governments and specialists including ad agencies and behavioural scientists for clearly articulating the real value of sanitation.
  • In order to ensure financial viability of public toilets, the report suggests adopting a ‘Toilet Plus’ approach with additional facilities for bathing, change rooms, sanitary napkin dispensers, multi-purpose use of toilet buildings linking them with livelihood and community activities.
  • The report proposes to levy monthly maintenance charges for community toilets as against pay for use and toilets should be maintained by communities.
  • Construction of small group toilets with limited access, say for 2 or 3 households, should be preferred as against building large toilet blocks in areas where space is a constraint.
  • Creating a statutory National Council for Sanitation has been proposed with representation from civil society, academia, technocrats, policy makers, government officials and other stakeholders. The Council can suggest legal reforms to enhance functioning of the Mission besides promoting evidence based policy making.
[Ref: Business Line]

 

Economy

Cabinet approves National Highways Interconnectivity Improvement Project

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for development of 1120 kms of National Highways in five states under National Highways Interconnectivity Improvement Project (NHIIP) programme.

IASToppers National Highways Interconnectivity Improvement Project

  • Five states are Karnataka, Odisha, Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal.

Details:

  • The work for development to two lane standards are under Phase-I of the National Highways Interconnectivity Improvement Project (NHIIP) with World Bank assistance.
  • The revised estimated cost is Rs. 6,461 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities.
  • The projects are already taken up for implementation and 429 kms has been completed. The civil works are expected to be completed by July, 2019 and maintenance works are expected to be completed by July, 2024.
  • The project will ensure safe, fast and all weather movement of traffic on the proposed National Highways mostly located in backward regions thereby improving socio economic development.

Background:

  • The proposal was initially approved for Rs. 5,193 crore. The cost has increased due to higher bid prices, and increase in cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Maharashtra becomes first state to sign MoU for regional air links

Maharashtra Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and Airports Authority of India (AAI) to develop 10 airports as part of the Centre’s Regional Connectivity Scheme.

Maharashtra regional air links

  • With this Maharashtra became first state in the country to formally to provide the concessions required from the State Governments in the Regional Connectivity Scheme.

Key facts:

  • The first phase will include Shirdi, Nanded, Amravati, Gondia, Nashik, Jalgaon, Solapur, Kolhapur, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.
  • The MoU aims to facilitate regional air connectivity by making it affordable and enacting different concessions, including some support from the Centre.
  • As per the MoU, Central Government will provide funds and also assist the Maharashtra Government in developing essential infrastructure for developing these airports.
  • State government will provide essential land free of cost and will also reduce the Local Body Tax (LBT) on air fuel from the existing 10% to 1% for a period of 10 years.
  • It will also provide electricity, water and necessary facilities at concessional rates. Airports will also be provided with roads, rail and waterway connectivity.
[Ref: TOI]

 

9 new breeds of indigenous livestock registered

Nine new breeds of livestock and poultry have been registered with Karnal-based National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR).

  • With this the total number of indigenous breeds reaches to 160.
  • The breed registration committee of the ICAR in its recent meeting approved the registration of the new breeds of livestock and poultry.

IASToppers 9 breeds

Key facts:

  • Among the newly registered breeds, the cattle is found to be more disease resistant than the other known indigenous breeds.
  • Newly registered breeds include one breed of cattle, two breeds each of goat and sheep, three breeds of pig, and one breed of chicken.

Newly identified and registered breeds

States

Badricow

Uttarakhand

Teressa goat

Nicobar Island

Kodi Adu goat

Tamil Nadu

Chevaadu sheep

Tamil Nadu

Kendrapada sheep

Odisha

Tenyi Vo pig

Nagaland

Nicobari pig

Nicobar Island

Doom pig

Assam

Kaunayenchicken

Manipur

Background:

  • The ICAR had initiated the mechanism for ‘Registration of Animal Germplasm’ through the NBAGR. It had in 2008 constituted a Breed Registration Committee that takes a call on registration of newly found indigenous breeds based on scientifically produced evidence.
  • Registration of breeds is also aimed at creating a sense of ownership among local communities responsible for development of breeds.
  • The registration of various unique populations as breeds shall also help in inventorisation, improvement, conservation and sustainable utilisation of animal genetic resources of the country.
[Ref: TOI]

 

Bilateral & International Relations

Cabinet approves MoU with South Africa to establish cooperation in Grassroots Innovation

The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and South Africa to establish cooperation in Grassroots Innovation.

IASToppers India South Africa

Under this MoU:

  • Both countries will jointly organise various programmes such as forums, seminars, workshops, and training on matters related to innovation.
  • They will also share open source technologies with each other and jointly develop projects to assist innovators in converting their ideas into commercially viable innovations.

Significance of the move:

  • The MoU will provide a mechanism and help in creating an ecosystem that will promote inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship at the grassroot level in both countries with particular focus on Indigenous knowledge systems and Agriculture Biotechnology.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Cabinet approves signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Fiji

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of new Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Fiji.

IASToppers India-Fiji 2

 

  • The Agreement is for updation of the existing Air Services Agreement (ASA) between the two countries which was signed on 28th January, 1974.

Objective of new ASA:

  • The objective of new ASA is to improve the air connectivity between the two countries by updating the existing ASA, keeping in view the latest developments in civil aviation sector.

The essential features of the Air Services Agreement are as follows:

Under the new ASA,

  • Both countries shall be entitled to designate one or more airline.
  • These airlines shall have right to establish offices in other country for promotion and sale of air services.
  • The designated airlines of the two countries shall have fair and equal opportunity to operate the agreed services on specified routes. The routes and frequencies shall be decided subsequently.
  • The designated airline will be free to decide tariffs in respect of the agreed services at reasonable levels based on the commercial considerations.
  • The designated Airline of each party can enter into cooperative marketing arrangements with the designated carriers of same party and other party.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Cabinet approves MoU with Myanmar for cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Myanmar in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine.

IASToppers India and Myanmar

  • The MoU will provide structured frame work for promotion of AYUSH/Traditional Systems of Medicine in Myanmar.
  • It will boost the importance of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) systems of medicine and conservation, production and standardisation.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Science & Technology

Andhra Pradesh becomes first state to launch DNA profiling of criminals

For the first time in India, as part of its proactive policing, the Andhra Pradesh government launched the DNA Index System for criminals.

Key facts:

  • The system uses the latest DNA technology tool called RapidHIT developed by IntegenX of USA.
  • It allows generation of DNA profiles from live samples such as buccal swabs, blood stains, saliva etc., within less than two hours as the currently available technologies take at least two days or more.

IASToppers RapidHIT

What is DNA profiling?

  • DNA fingerprinting or DNA profiling is method of isolating and identifying variable elements within the base-pair sequence of DNA.
  • DNA fingerprinting technology is utilised by police all over the world for fool-proof identification of criminals who leave their traces at crime scene while committing crime.
  • The technology plays a crucial role in solving crimes as it has potential to link a series of crimes by placing the suspects by linking them with the crime scene.

Significance of DNA profiling:

  • DNA profiling plays a crucial role not only in solving crimes but also has a potential to link a series of crimes by placing the suspects at the scene of crime by linking the suspects with the crime scene while also helping to prove their innocence.
  • It can also be used to resolve disputes of paternity and maternity.
  • It can establish the identity of missing children and baby-swapping cases in hospitals.
[Ref: IE]

 

Key Facts for Prelims

Udaipur Declaration

IASTopper-Udaipur-Declaration

The two-day meeting of Ministers of Disaster Management (MDM) of BRICS countries concluded in Udaipur, Rajasthan with the adoption of the Udaipur Declaration. Under the Udaipur Declaration, BRICS nations to set up a dedicated Joint Task Force for Disaster Risk Management for regular dialogue, exchange, mutual support and collaboration among them.

 

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